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University of Georgia Confirms Swastikas Were Drawn On Jewish Students’ Doors

A University of Georgia Jewish student is publicly speaking about acts carried out against her and others on campus. UGA has confirmed cases of “offensive symbols” on campus where swastikas were drawn on Jewish students’ doors this semester, according to an emailed statement to Grady Newsource on Nov. 19.

“We are aware of reports of offensive symbols written on the message boards on the doors of rooms in two residence halls on campus,” the statement reads. “Whenever the university receives complaints of racist or discriminatory conduct, we refer such matters to our Equal Opportunity Office in accordance with applicable laws and policies.”

Ariana Dinberg, a freshman, said the first incident happened in August. Dinberg said the poster letters of the Sigma Delta Tau, the Jewish sorority on campus, were torn off her door. Dinberg said she reported the incident to her resident assistant.

“It already made me feel almost ashamed,” Dinberg said. “But when this happened, I hated that people knew someone Jewish lived there based on my poster and reaction from whoever did this was immediate anti-Semitism.”

She said she chose to take down the poster instead of taping it back up so another incident didn’t happen. However, it did.

In October, Dinberg said the words “All Heil” with a swastika underneath were written on the white board outside her dorm.

“I was shocked but more hurt,” Dinberg said. “I know anti-Semitism has always existed around the world, but I also think it’s become more prevalent lately.”

Dinberg said she contacted the Equal Opportunity Office, University of Georgia Police Department and University Housing about the incident.

According to the police report, there was not an apparent connection to the incident in August and October.

As of Oct. 15, Dinberg said EOO informed her that the university was still unable to identify a person or persons responsible.

Grady Newsource confirmed two reported cases where swastikas were drawn on doors of Jewish students’ doors.

Another University of Georgia student reported she returned to her dorm room in Russell Hall on Nov. 9 to find a swastika drawn on laminated name tags on her door, according to a police report filed on Nov. 18.

On Nov. 11, the student reported to the Equal Opportunity Office about the incident. EOO advised her to file an incident report with University of Georgia police.

The report states the symbol was drawn with a black dry erase marker on the student’s door. The victim stated the swastika was drawn on other doors on her hall.

“A total of 18 doors that could have potentially contained the drawings,” the report reads.

However, the report states police were unable to confirm the drawing because the symbols were erased.

Police say since the drawings were erased, there was no damage to property, and the incident did not warrant a criminal trespass investigation.

Greg Trevor, the executive director for media communications at the University of Georgia, said in the Nov. 19 statement the affected students have met with the Equal Opportunity Office, University Housing and the University of Georgia Police Department.

When Grady Newsource reached out for clarification about the general process of investigating discrimination and harassment to the Equal Opportunity Office, Trevor provided a copy of the Non-Discrimination and Anti-Harassment Policy.

“All reports and complaints of discrimination or harassment that may fall under the jurisdiction of this Policy will be promptly evaluated and appropriate action will be taken as expeditiously as possible,” the policy reads.

The University did not comment further about how these cases are handled.

Source: http://gradynewsource.uga.edu/uga-confirms-reports-of-swastikas-drawn-on-jewish-students-doors/